Monday, February 27, 2012

Honey yogurt corn muffins (small batch)

The Oscars have passed, so we can talk about them now.  I'm not bitter, although I didn't watch them this year.  Once again, I was not nominated.

My standard acceptance speech has changed over the years. When I first composed my address it was somewhat longer than Bill Clinton's 1988 speech to the Democratic Convention. I was twelve. Inspired by the child actresses I loved like Jodie Foster and Margaret O'Brien, I wore a fuchsia-colored ankle-length gown in my mind and elaborate braids with lilac and white ribbons in my hair. I gave an inspiring speech paying tribute to all of the old movies I loved .  In my later teens, I played Morgaine (Morgan le Fay) in a cinematic adaptation of one of my favorite books, The Mists of Avalon and favored a dark green plaid gown and green and black nails. And fishnets.  It's probably good I didn't win, because my speech would also have been kind of long and bitter and about the kids who made fun of me in high school.

Later, my speeches grew shorter and marginally more realistic.  I would write, direct, and star in an edgy indie film. I would show my defiance of The Beauty Myth by wearing an off-the-rack gown from the Gap that still made me look incredibly hot.

However, by my mid-twenties, after making a stab at trying to have an acting career, it had become clear to me that most of what we think of as acting is really casting, and my personality and body type didn't neatly fit into any in-demand category at the time. I certainly wasn't leading lady material, but I wasn't quite ugly or 'ethnic' enough to be the unattractive shrill neighbor/overweight best friend and certainly not sexy enough for soubrette roles.  I suppose if I had more talent, I would have found a way to make myself fit into the industry.  But the truth is, although I love fiction, I really hate all of the cellophane and falseness around the acting business, award speeches aside.

I also had an unfortunate tendency to be honest about the productions in which I was appearing, many of which were directed by young men and could have been subtitled (regardless of the intent of the playwright): Women who dumped me in the past, and why they suck. "Really, it's okay if you don't come," I'd say to my friends. "It's called Manfred, based on an unperformed play in verse by Lord Byron. The director is going through some things. We can grab some carrot cake and a couple of Mocha Frappuchinos at Starbucks when it's over. "

I didn't see the nominated films this year, and I'll wait for DVDs if I see any of them. So instead of a golden statuette, I present you all with a golden muffin. The recipe only makes six, which is deliberate, because it's designed to be a perfect-sized batch for a quick breakfast.  Just a bit out of the ordinary, without chewing the scenery.

Note the liner: Courtesy of the half-priced Valentine's Day sale at the supermarket!

Honey Yogurt Corn Muffins

--yields 6---


1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup honey
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used full fat)
1/4 cup vegetable oil


1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line six muffin tins.
2. Sift cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder together.  Combine honey, egg, yogurt and oil.
3. Spoon dry mixture into 'wet' mixture.'  Do not over-mix.  Pour batter into muffin liners.
4. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick can be extracted clean.


  1. I actually did watch the Oscars last night. It was the first time in a long time that I saw the entire thing beginning to end. I haven't seen any of the movies either (though I probably will over the next few years :)), and I coud care less about most of the people there, but it was a family thing for me. I wanted to watch it with my mom, because she loves that type of stuff and I miss those things :) (we also ate a butt-load of snacks :) ).
    Even though you may not have ever been in anything that you might consider good, it's a huge credit to yourself that you could put yourself out there like that. I can't imagine standing on a stage performing something for a group of people, no matter how small the audience. Especially if I wasn't too confident in what I was saying. You definitely deserve one or more of these muffins just for that :). And they look fantastic by the way :). I might double the recipe and use big muffin tins though. Breakfast of champions and all that :)

  2. @Adam--I always found acting much easier than speaking to people as 'myself.' It's one of those very true cliches about the acting profession that very, very shy people are usually drawn to it, as a way of expressing themselves. However, one thing that is often forgotten is that to really 'make it,' you do have to get over that shyness when you are 'being yourself,' which I never really did. Auditioning in a tiny room in front of a director was much worse than speaking to a large audience of people.

    I did love watching the Oscars with my mother when she was still alive--it is a great 'mom bonding thing' to do. Did you have themed snacks? NPR had a segment about that--suggesting pigs in a blanket for Moneyball and so forth...

  3. Joe Eszterhas built an entire career around writing movies about women who dumped him and why they sucked. Not a career to be proud of, but still.

    I always watch the Oscars, but I thought they were particularly boring this year. Perhaps having to look at Billy Crystal's botoxed face put me in a bad mood.

  4. @flurrious--quite a few men have done so! I guess it could be argued that Dante, Dickens, and quite a few great authors made that 'the' romantic plot of choice for their careers.

    Other than 'the face,' I suppose the other big story of the Oscars was 'the leg' of Angelina Jolie. Not since the 'leg lamp' of A Christmas Story has a gam gotten such press!

  5. Ah, very pretty and golden! How appropriate for the Oscars. I thought the ceremony was a little boring this year.

  6. @Emily--all of these comments are making me feel much better on 'bagging' the ceremony. Perhaps even I gave a better performance as a young 'un in front of my mirror...

  7. You can never go wrong with muffins!